tv Book TV After Words CSPAN August 29, 2011 3:00am-4:00am EDT
>> host: one of the many impressive aspects of your book is the scope that you cover so many very phenomenon. let me talk about the broad question. the title of your book is "more" that cover includes a picture of the pig and among the topics that you cover are multiple births, the pressure on women to breast feed and in general to devote entirely to your kids as parents and testing and the field of education everything it stood by hyper testing. and athletes are under pressure gore expected to be devoted to the sort. the addiction metaphor and
how people use the expression of the drug of choice. and with the obsession the indicting and beauchemin and of the city and anorexia. the obsession with home renovation which is another set of tv shows. my impression is maybe the threat to connecting all of these is the vanishing of scale. so tell us what you mean and how it can nec's all of these cultural phenomenons. >> what we see that connects all of those is the media approach to telling stories about those things in multiple births. helicopter parents, the
experience of professional or amateur athletes that they should be devoted to their sport. the i.d.'s is quite clear how the media tell the story that if you are to occupy time or space in the media narrative in order to become part of what we see a and read every day, you have to be coming your desire your achievements have to be over the top of a larger scale than typical. a talk about sports fans, it is not enough to be just a casual fan. you cannot just go to games and sit in buy a few souvenirs. it is expected and affirmed by the narrative that you have to be the super fan
aggressive behavior. it goes back to the decisions made by folks who work for a television station or a network to highlight that behavior of not that is normal but push them onto the cultural map as opposed to someone who is more subdued with their allegiance. >> host: this is interesting. so you have to be over the top to get attention and that attention in itself is the reinforcement of itself but where do you see messages to people or evidence they are getting them messages they should be like that in their everyday life? >> guest: it is tricky to
put stock into new symbol matured models. i watch television of their four. but fairly confident the when the model of communication suggested not so much what to think of what to think about to put the radar on our screen and so we see them as almost typical behavior that going back that perhaps every fan is the super aggressive or uberfan it is not linear that if that is the only version of kinship that we see through the source is msa widening range, then the
idea for the models that are excluded precede. >> host: can you talk about the other topics? like the pressure odd wind to have multiple births and a lot of kids a and maybe a celebration but on the other hand, if they have too many, the example is the it is called disparaging and that is part of the point*. babies say something like that. >> america or the united states has always been that we believe one of the important roles for a woman is to bear children and have a family provide couple of examples that the
quintuplets in canada born in the 30's but the hype certainly on a scale similar although not as as it intends to the octomom and her coverage. we pigeonhole the women we celebrate those rules even what seems to be at negative wave even with the octomom if a woman has a lot of children at once, that is a more sure-fire way to capture the attention with the overarching narrative with the story of women as told by the media and as a same-sex couple who decides to limit gore decides not to
have children at all. they don't get as much play although that is negative but do not get as much attention because it is not as over the top behavior as the quintuplets gore the octomom. with breast feeding, i am not attacking the science behind breast-feeding. a lot of scions seems conclusively to prove it is better for a child health. but i find fascinating is how the women, especially celebrities who decide not to and use a formula where there is a great deal of pressure and added to buy the media to breast feed and women who make the other decision-making are
castigated lourdes treated poorly i talk about jennifer lopez in the midst of her pregnancy made the decision to bottle feed her children. it is a personal decision that runs counter to the science but that is her choice. but what was interesting was the reaction is officially the taprooms she was called a lot of nasty names and her sanity was questioned and how dare she? all of the negative comments but again, says the said before not to make a linear connection that argument occupies the space to bottle
feed my child argument gets marginalized. >> in terms of evidence andy extremity of remarks is self-evident of over the top. that a good idea but she is said double incarnate. >> certainly not just a handful of folks but commentators food discuss this and it is assumed with the narrative and the meaning that we get that we should even though the evidence is there, it is the right call to breast feed your child. and if you don't in a
culture of overreaction a young man who was a sports reporter where he did not attend the baseball game he was assigned to cover. one of my first of all, witnesses as a sports writer. >> host: he was known for doing that to in the way that he called. >> did not have to be there. that was accepted in radio. that was pretty common practice. but i apologize, in cheering for the team he was covering in the press box which is another cultural no no.
the sports editor called him that night to say you are done. that was the first mistake. it was a great performance on his part but it just seems that we hit a stage culturally highlighted by the media that every action we give to behavior or comments or anything just seems to be a complete overreaction. >> we talk about with that with the argument culture. going back to the quintuplets and you talk about of the current phenomenon and waves in some
ways it has never happened before or it is a new way to do something. you do discussed at link the overreaction to the octomom how she was demonized but also women who have many children of our glorified but also the quintuplets had a media circus around them. one case that you did not mention is cheaper by the dozen which was glorified. 12 children. terrific. clearly something going on in his class and you talk about that. if you are middle-class it is okay but if you are poor or on assistance than anything you do is not okay like our obsession women on welfare should go to work. at the same time we demonize
working mothers. it is class thing but could you say something about the octomom what is new about the way the media treats people like this and how is it the same old thing? >> going back to the quintuplets, although the choice was made by their parents to expose them into the circuits that you describe, it was not an informed choice. the parents were poor and did not have a lot of education. when they saw the opportunity to make money, the doctor who organized as almost a
carnival attraction convinced them to do this. maybe not a degree of agency there. what the media is reporting i guess she is getting ready to box semi professional but they've made her out to be very media savvy that she was just capitalizing on this from the beginning and the over-the-top that occur 50 minutes of fame and the discussion how her organized attempts to grab attention and the others. in the same vein may seem to be in control of what is going on and even and
"cheaper by the dozen" the book and a movie, while there is that class element also to be at the controls of the great media machine but it differs where they where swept away in the media hype environment. >> host: day thien kerger was say fundamental difference between them over the way media have come to frame celebrities? first some person or organization our story then
it gets more and then there is a switch we start to demonize the% 41 tame the attention and manipulating the media. if they complain it is eroding your life, you ask for it. why did you put yourself out there then? but that is the difference. >> i would like to give more thought this but with the duggars they are evade do not ruffle for others they go on the "today show" when they are told in the house gets bigger and they have more children.
and certainly some her knows that the way of media success and tried to control although i would say that the media having someone ltd. experience, once a story is a story and they gave that kind of fame it doesn't matter what they do. i think consistently from the beginning of time on our cultural map she has been framed as out of control. she already had six children. this is ridiculous. how will she feed them? but whenever she dead something she can come up with a new line of been a better because there is that
residue of the octomom. but the quintuplets only a couple are still alive that periodically popped up. although it was a complete circus when they were little, if it does go back in the media demands. so much time and space the floor that was the evening news. now it is 24 hours. >> guest: exactly. growing up in the '60s you had three traces. the authority to make the selection in this day will more pronounced but today to see the assignment editor at
cnn to. but a new your times website every day to come up with material if we don't have something the public will look elsewhere. that may be the primary difference there is the ongoing insatiable demand so that lends itself. >> host: talk about the psychological transfer that journalists are stuck covering the story is that they themselves non that have lost interest why am i stuck with you? [laughter] >> guest: an interesting study.
and as it works in the field the easiest to a. even now it has this is easier gore simpler to find out where the octomom is to find her boxing gore whenever she is then to do the in depth piece of the debt crisis even in the coverage of that it was boehner vs. obama, hero verses bill when. there were some but almost
the nuanced discussion with it was the crisis. >> some saying i wrote to called the argument culture that there's a lot of nervousness of losing the audience and the belief people would be more likely to watch if there is a fight rather than exploring ideas. the beauty of c-span. going back to something that is so interesting come a what is completely new and what is similar in a different way but also a 12 question and maybe a explorer how much is the media or other cultural forces. this is what made me think of it that you mention now there is tremendous pressure on women to breast feed and
said demonization if they don't. him in the past the pressure was the other way not to breastfeed. my mother recalls her very first child in the late thirties when she told her doctor she intended to breast feed the doctor said what are you, a cow? this was not the media but a doctor in everyday life. i suspect those pressure and forces that you describe accurately are reverberations coming from the many other day circumstances like what the doctors tell you. i imagine in their offices are doing the same thing.
>> guest: on tlc or whether the channel. >> i always heard that anecdote but it made me say that there is always pressure to do one thing or another and of little sense of scale how much of this 10 they felt like many other ways with a manifestation. >> that is a great word. the layers of meaning may be a way to explain that. not watching enough newscast or to stress the importance of breast feeding is the
automatic guarantee, but says you pointed out correctly it is one of several sources of information or cultural forces at work. that those that try to gain meaning from to make the decision it was a two-part issue that's you always have to look to the media are going to speak and who they give time and space to. that is not the automatic indication but with the lot of narrative cultural time
with day count your narrative that breast-feeding is fine but when the the other things that comes out of the book is that it may eliminate things that has the overstated assessment of their own impact. reporters think we are the window of the world one of the things i think i mentioned is the discussion of women and eating disorders have all of the behavior is around wait that we hear and discuss seem to
be extreme weather young women going on websites to get tips on how to become anorexic which is horrible, to childhood obesity epidemic gore when the folks decide they will lose weight, it is not a private affair to go off and not eat as much and do more exercise. the media suggests is that it has to be done at the boot camp on "the biggest loser" so they have more severe issues than the average person but then it gets back to a combination of information and bits of
information not just the media ramming it down our throats. >> host: do want to talk about the other topics like the house renovations? [laughter] >> guest: we almost finished renovating our own house. we just had been new air conditioner point* 10. is a wonderful house. with home repair, one of the media is stock of trade is to coot -- to create a sense of and the to have the biggest house, the nicest
house, and something that has always eluded me is you need the to sink vanity. apparently everybody wants the tousing community. that is fine. but when i was in high-school my mom undertow to a renovation of our home from what i remember, it was fairly low-key affair part of a ton of work a lot of avocado and made it look nice but there was a reveal at the end to use the phrase that is popular that she kept everything under wraps. we had a neighborhood party but today every step of that to is very out of scale or
over the top 10 shows called yard crashers and bathroom pressures were unsuspecting customers that home depot or other stores are physically accosted by the post to urge them to let them come to destroy their bathroom there was a billboard that called it the black sheep of home improvement programs. the first i remember watching was this old house back in the late '70s. but it does seem every step of the home-improvement pathe has to be undertaken with great zeal and home depot commercials is dropped everything and be aggressive
and come and fix our house but proceeds from the assumption that i am sure there are those who need to improve their homes but we have to be persuaded the korean war formica countertops are not so great but to bring back my a moms example to make it backstage behavior, it is very much out front the house is being crashed. we are almost there. >> host: not a comment on your own individual renovation but maybe there is some interplay between the tv shows and their
ubiquity and the fact people are renovating their houses that it is the biggest focus of attention they will undertake renovations periodically. >> i am sure your experience could be similar but i don't remember that cycle being so short. after mom got done with the house, it looked great then there was a minor renovation a few years later but a constant state of repackaging, preparation, de pression management come at any of those terms that fit that we constantly have to improve maybe a slight
cousin but when of those that we watched a lot was trading spaces. he then the pre-eminence of the show's center on the air now is all very introspective and undertaken with a lot of energy. my mom just wanted it to get done. she wanted it to look nice to impress the neighbors, but a constant sense to need to improve. >> host: one is the term that you use we always think of extremis that you cannot just renovate your house. it is the extreme makeover but could it be that our
sense of nabors has expanded because of the concert stage constant exposure? >> guest: that is a great point*. from a a young age we are taught to develop the legacies that when bill clinton was president and started to do the fundraising before he left in office for a second term, it struck me that he is still on the planet with productive years but why now? it seems to be the common way to go. >> i kid around because i don't know those who are
performing there was a show that was called behind the music the beatles gore youtube and the narrative was the same. hard beginning is with a lot of success they overcome the temptations but what i had noticed is it does not seem to take as much achievement but this is not a criticism of the music or the bands or the tv producers think they have done enough to merit a show but that you can have a legacy. almost you can have a legacy
instantly. almost like a jihad that that -- chia pet. almost encouraging the kids to go to the right college. not so much anymore, not to overstate to be guilty of the educational journey but as you want to leave something behind and create your own presidential library at the age of 18 rather than living your life and the media certainly give you enough clues about how valid of an expression that is. there are a bunch of
commercials letter still on the air for frosted many wheat cereal where they sit on a kid's his shoulders to say they will do great. all in a move not to become famous but to leave the legacy behind. >> host: something intrigues me. you mentioned focus, zeal, as opposites of scale. and this goes three framing for me because i thought focus was positive to give you enter peace but it to
talk about the flow and it is a focus which is a gauge of creativity and enter have finesse. i just wonder, what is the way you use focus that is different from that it? >> the example that i use this tiger woods. besides the recent struggles, when he came on the scene at three years old he was on a segment of the mike douglas show to show his prodigy gulf shows shows -- skills of a friend of bob hope then faded in re-emerge when he was then a college and then became one of the greatest golfers of all time.
but apart from the issues and recently is how dedication may be a better way to say it but he is so completely focused and dedicated on golf. but two invariably mention how laser focused he was about the game of golf. distraction's. taking the buddhism idea to would celebrate almost where he was in the zone and so focus on being the greatest golfer or pleasing his father. as a society, that golf fans admired. he dominated certainly but
he was just so good and thought of nothing else gore so it seemed, the portrayal of sports writers made it seem it was golf, golf, golf all the time to be as good as he possibly could. winning a major record of tournaments'. and we see that with the youth participation in sports where at least those young folks to i interact with, when they play sports they do that are expected to do that to the exclusion to be supreme a dedicated to that. i was trying to remember
when the track athletes were the same or if it has changed but it does represent culturally the only way to keep the conditions that day is to be super successful, i just to be an incredibly one point* or dedicated so that leaves out media portrayals if you are good at something but not physically portraying that to with the sense the zeal you don't get a place at the table which pops up every so often with those that play in his wake the coverage centers on him then to say what did you think? [laughter] was the focus? you could see in their face
there rather talk about their game but because the frame was about his focus. >> host: may be using the wordpro gas light obsessive gore maniacal. >> guest: that it is true. not temporary focus. >> yes. >> host: the obsession. >> guest: in that goes back to the point* earlier of the coopting of the language of addiction and a lot of stories where that we
describe our hobbies and marriages are whatever in terms that used to be reserved for addictive behavior. i am totally addicted to desperate housewives gore stamp collecting gore of assessed with justin bieber -- justin bieber budget is not enough to say i like baseball or stamp collecting the suggestion is in order to get more time or space to tell your story you have to be over the top but i am addicted to reading. >> host: first of all, we know language works that way
then you need the bigger word than that loses the power so you get a bigger word but just to hear other people talk about to addiction i hear you say you are predicted to reading then i think without to say i am of addicted to a clean house. it could be afraid. >> guest: it could be in is a good point* but that means other ways to describe that experience fade away or are less important and it takes up so much space.
whether or not that teller's their experience that they are not supers ellis, when we look at the media content, the suggestion of going to school or golf fact you have to do it all out. and the obsession is a little closer to the mark than focus. although the topics mean that way of describing our lives i was just thinking about weddings our life experiences, pushes the other ones aside. >> host: it says something about the culture which
expressions come into vogue says something about our culture. i don't want to mess asking you to comment on perhaps the most shocking claim claim, your opposition to the zero tolerance fad and we're both academics, you question what is now been a great favor of honor coats which we have zero tolerance for plagiarism or is zero tolerance for violence in schools which on the face seems like a great thing but you can make interesting points about it too. >> guest: first and foremost, besides the zero tolerance policies, there is
evidence that suggest it does not work that at the superficial level perhaps they go back to another idea the suggestion that schools are scary places when in fact, they are less violent than in recent years. the evidence is out there now to suggest zero tolerance policies reach -- make more havoc than they are designed. uniform policy is the same. during the clinton administration there was a push because of well publicized examples, bad and tragic examples, around items of clothing or colors or sneakers that schools across the country decided
to put to and the uniform policies and again it is clear that they don't at least the stuff in the book but what i worry about mostly is by suggesting a journalist that is the way school is in that is the experience and on top of that no child left behind a and a learning experience changes that it creates a really tense experience for a student and maybe over romanticizing from some 1212 to be more of a participant in the '60s, but it seems to
be almost more damaging from what it designs to prevent and about plagiarism, we have had the battle for years. we know that kids cheat and turn and papers that are not theirs and the internet -- internet makes of the bigger problem because they can cut and paste but then our entire lives we become chasing down to create tactics and techniques to stop plagiarism rather than dealing with it and a more measured fashion. i could be completely wrong and i am fortunate i have
not but it just seems as though one of those that i quote in the book the plagiarism police and absolutely not a criticism of her teaching but she spends all that time on the papers that other parts of her experience are changed and not spending as much time with the kids or teaching. but it is part and parcel how it is portrayed as a very tense and pressure packed experience where kids have to be on all the time. and then deborah tannen back what the teacher says and kids walking along the wall
and holding hands. not but they should be running around but a suggestion that plagiarism only adds to that. to take the kid aside maybe not re an that equivalent it just seems it makes kids angrier on the other side. >> many academics will find that to interesting. and varo may anything on day internet. >> larry is a lot of information we are trying to
i hate to be illusive but it depending on which a media you use to gain deprivation c-span and similar services are made the the closest such as congress giving people information which has been interested in late may. what drives the argument is there are some many. it was a finite universe of sources in and that was
pretty much it. it was a fairly expensive proposition but today there is said say constant exposure for the devices that we have smart funds and who lou.com that we can immerse ourselves. maybe not 24/7 but we can be connected to the media all the time as a more constant presence in our lives. i hope none of this is taken as an indictment from day arguments and the elimination of television but to think about what narrative's are being suggested to that expanded range of media outlets.
>> host: i am agreed completely and you explain it or dramatically in your book but maybe to end as they go six comments that throughout history there has been a sense of panic about the proliferation of media. the history of the printing press how it was greeted with utter panic and quoting that there were so many books out there, just a swarm of books it would continue unchecked and would become a disgrace rather than an honor to be an author. and think of our sense of